Bet on Kerry
INTEREST is soaring in Kerry Packer, thanks to Nine’s excellent mini-series based on the late tycoon’s establishment of World Series Cricket. Packer, an exceptional gambler and car guy, might have appreciated this chance to scam a bar quiz or two. The apparently simple question: What initials were on Packer’s personalised number plates? The largely unknown answer: FP, for Frank Packer, his dad. Collect cash, head for casino.
A VIDEO once arrived at my house promoting the cause of veganism. It was sent from the US by none other than the world’s main vegan, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals president Ingrid Newkirk, who sought to educate me in the ways of complete meatlessness.
Vegans are actually more like food than something that should be telling you about food, so her well-meaning diet advice was ignored. But it turns out that Ingrid the vegan and me the meateater actually share a common passion.
The PETA president is a Formula One fanatic. ‘‘ It’s sex,’’ the critter-hugger once told The New Yorker. ‘‘ The first time you hear them rev their engines, my God! That noise goes straight up my spine.’’
According to another magazine profile, Newkirk thinks nothing of staying up half the night to watch races in Australia or Malaysia. Her office floor, in addition to being covered with welcome mats for cats, is strewn with copies of Car and Driver and Autoweek.
Newkirk isn’t the only ecoperson with a rogue fondness for fast cars. Back in 2007, when he ran for the Senate as a Climate Change Coalition candidate, ABC science celebrity Karl Kruszelnicki owned a stomping V8 Holden Monaro. ‘‘ Value for money, the Monaro is amazing,’’ raved Dr Karl. ‘‘ For $50,000 it’s got lovely, lovely performance.’’
And Michael Organ, the first Greens member to win a seat in the federal house of reps, is such an out-and-proud gearhead that he records his enviable vehicle ownership history online. Among Michael’s motors: a 1967 HR Holden, two tweaked Ford Escorts, a 1977 A9X Torana capable of 80km/h in first gear and a government-supplied 2002 Ford Falcon (‘‘I was booked in it coming home from delivering my first speech in parliament’’). Sadly, to date there’s no Organ Morgan.
Perhaps others on the eco side of politics also crave nonparliamentary petrol-based power. Reveal your hidden car lust, Christine Milne. You too, Sarah Hanson-Young.
Get personal with Packer: Lachy Hulme as the tycoon in